Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fire Ants on a Log

I am trying as hard as I can to get rid of the celery that is lurking in my crisper (especially since it's going on two week old). My solution? Updating the favorite (?) kids' snack of ants on a log. I have never been a big raisin fan, but I love dried cranberries (though not by themselves as much). This made the celery easier to swallow (since usually I can't stand it) and made for a healthier after-work snack than I usually have.

Like the rest of the country, we are experiencing some colder weather, somewhat welcome since we've had a mcuh warmer than average winter. Another method of ridding the house of celery? A veggie chili! I tossed in every veggie I was in the mood for, including onion, red pepper, zucchini, kale , and 3 kinds of beans (black, pinto, kidney). Add some diced tomatoes, plenty of chili powder, and a package of Boca crumbles and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. And what goes better with chili than cornbread? This was the recipe for skillet cornbread from V-Con, except I didn't use a skillet (pyrex) and I halved the recipe. And I threw in some jalapenos for good measure.
But did I mention there are benefits to having a warmer than average winter? Fresh, local strawberries!! These are from Wharton County, just up the road from Houston. They were so big and bright and juicy....
And all gone!! I love my little strawberry bowl. Reminds me of the time I spent in England with my parents (this is from Portmeirion).....
And finally, a quick dinner from earlier in the week. I have been really anti-going out to eat lately. Mostly because I'm just sick of explaining to waiters that I don't eat animal products and then they point out the fish on the menu. Ugh! No seriously, it's not that bad here. But I wanted to not go to one of my standard places I'm comfortable with. So I took Ruby Red Vegan's advice and hit up Pei Wei. I got the teriyaki bowl with veggies and tofu, and left feeling full and satisfied.
I am sooooo ready for Friday.

23 comments:

Liz² said...

your strawberry bowl is awesome!

VeggieGirl said...

I love your rendition on the classic "ants on a log" snack - I've never been a fan of celery, but maybe I should give THAT ingredient another chance ;0)

chili = looks quite satiating and comforting.

you have NO idea how lucky you are to have fresh, edible strawberries during these winter months - I miss my fresh berries!!

oh my, that teriyaki bowl from Pei Wei looks quite scrumptious!!

Romina said...

Fire ants?? That's genius!

Your strawberry dish is so cute. And those strawberries look delicious... I only ever see nasty looking half-rotted ones at the supermarket.

Emilie said...

ack! beautiful!! local!!! strawberries!!!! J-E-A-L-O-U-S!!!!!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Mmmm isn't Pei Wei delish? There's one 5 minutes away from me-- lucky for me, huh?

Haha, I love how you modified the traditional "ants on a log" to become "fire ants"!

Enjoy that cold weather while it lasts!

Melody Polakow said...

Your chili looks awesome... and so does that last pic.. it's great to know that a restaurant is vegan. I can't stand going out to eat.

Love the fire ants on a log

the little one said...

Throwing in jalapenos was a great idea! I bet that cornbread was delicious.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

That chili sounds great!

Carolann said...

I'm not much of a celery fan either! I love the ants on the log idea! I remember eating it when I was a kid and enjoying it... I should try it again!Chili looks great, and the strawberries... I can't wait to get fresh strawberries here!

Johanna3 said...

beautiful food!

Ruthie said...

Amanda ~

Sorry I haven't commented lately. :-) I am so envious of your laptop and strawberries! But I have to admit my fav picture recently is the ants on a log. :-)

Have you thought of making bread stuffing? You can also saute the celery in a bit o' olive oil and freeze it for future use in stuffing and stews.

Peace ~
Ruthie

robotslingshot said...

Just stumbled onto your blog... Great resolutions and photos... it looks like you know very well how to wield a camera. Keep up the good work!

Best,
Paula

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

FIRE ANTS! yes! I never thought of putting cranberries on there instead of raisins (I always just have them with just peanut butter). Fun idea! And good for you for eating celery!
yr chili looks like perfection! and jalapeno cornbread. Awesome!
I love yr strawberry bowl. I have a favorite bowl too that my mom gave me that she got right before she had me.

Jenny said...

Gosh, you even make ants on a log look good! I just love reading your blog and seeing all of your pictures! You've inspired me to start my own vegan blog! Now if only I could wield a camera as well as you...

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Haha I would gladly give you some snow... but it only snowed for about 10 minutes, so it's sadly all gone. No snowman-making here.

And yes, I remained neutral throughout the Cowboys' game, alhough pretty much everyone else at the party was a Cowboys' fan (the party pretty much died when they lost!).

Rage And Love said...

You can't get cuter than those "fire ants"

The strawberries are so beautiful and they look incredibly juicy

And Teriyaki bowl looks killer!!! :-)

Vegan*asm said...

Mmm, I love ants on a log, even though I don't usually like celery. It's fun to play around with the different spread/topping combinations. Even making some savory ,like hummus and olives.

Your chili looks so yum, and jalapeno cornbread is a great match. Something I love to add to my cornbread is chopped broccoli. Mmm!

Oh, those strawberries look fantastic. I haven't seen any around Austin yet, but we have some great citrus!

Megan the Vegan said...

give me some of that terriaki bowl!

Sam said...

I am so jealous of your strawberries! All I can get here in Pittsburgh is nasty berries from South America... You're so lucky!

Anke said...

strawberries. fresh strawberries. wow. I'm so jealous... *drooling*

for using up celery try cooking up your own vegetable broth. :-)

urban vegan said...

That name ants on a log cracks me up...ALl that food looks so healthy and tasty. we veg-heads really eat well, don't we?

Ashasarala said...

I forgot all about ants on a log! I haven't had peanut butter and celery in ages. Fire ants are a scary thought, though. ;)

Jalepenos in cornbread? Well, that's something new! It must be a good balance since bread can soothe the burn caused by spice.

I love your strawberry bowl! Just a few months ago, I had been eyeing a set of mugs and tea cups at my sister's house that have the cutest little strawberry design on them. Being the great sister that she is, she let me have them! I should put something fun it it just so I can post them on my blog.

Here's a question for ya- how did you get such great lighting on that teriyaki bowl? I always refrain from picture-taking in restaurants because the lighting is usually quite crappy. :-/

Ruby Red Vegan said...

oh yum, adorable ants on a log! and i've been wanting to try the skillet cornbread! i so feel you on the eating out thing - i hate explaining, and sometimes restaurants can't even understand that their bread may not be vegan! glad you got to make it by pei wei - i go there a little often!